Greenbuddies NewsUpdates from the world of renewable energy

Greenbuddies Tips – February 2023 27.02.2023

Italian 25 MWp project successfully completed despite adverse weather

The Badia Polesine project, located on the outskirts of the Italian town of the same name, is a spectacular project by Greenbuddies that includes 45,000 solar panels with a capacity of 25 MW. The project was challenging to implement, not only because of its scale but also because of adverse weather conditions.

The project started at the end of September and from the beginning, the project had to deal with adverse weather conditions, including frequent rain and fog. These factors slowed the progress of the project and engineers had to deal with additional complications such as having to rotate the panels relative to each other to be connected.

Aerial view of the Badia Polesine project

Despite these challenges, the project was completed successfully thanks to the hard work and dedication of over 60 Greenbuddies staff. The electrical workers even worked over the Christmas holidays to complete the project on time.

For Greenbuddies, this project is an important step in opening up a new market in Italy. Greenbuddies is already working on 6 other projects in Italy which are in the pre-construction phase.

The Badia Polesine project shows that Greenbuddies is truly “Unstoppable” when it comes to building sustainable energy projects across the European Union.

Greenbuddies participate in the electrification of PPL CZ logistics centers

At the end of 2022, the Greenbuddies Charging teams once again collaborated with ChargeUp Services CZ, with whom the partnership was already established at the beginning of March 2022. After the pilot projects for installing charging stations at the branches of Komerční banka, our technicians are now involved in installing CIRCONTROL charging stations for the transport company PPL CZ.

The same type of Wall boxes as at Komerční banka branches on Wenceslas Square and in Stodůlky are installed at all PPL locations.

Circontrol charging stations at a PPL CZ site

The alternating charging stations supply energy via the on-board rectifier of the electric car to its battery. They use a standard mains voltage of 50 Hz, which is converted in the rectifier into a suitable DC charging current for the electric car battery. The size of the on-board rectifiers is determined by the limited space requirements and the possibility of cooling the waste heat generated during the charging process directly on board the car. This practically limits the maximum charging power from AC charging stations. Charging stations are produced in a range of power outputs, the most powerful of which reach peak charging outputs of 22 kW.

During December, these charging stations were installed by Greenbuddies Charging at the following locations of PPL CZ logistics centers: Jažlovice, Plzeň, Teplice, Úžice, Řeporyje and Karlovy Vary. The installed technology was supplied directly by the partner company ChargeUp Services CZ from the manufacturer Circontrol.

In 2023, Greenbuddies will install about 200 more charging stations at 70 locations of PPL CZ logistics centers across the Czech Republic.

Greenbuddies will equip Unipress printing press with a 250KWp rooftop PV

The decision to install 652 solar panels on its roof will contribute to greater energy self-sufficiency and energy savings for the Unipress printing press in Turnov. The installation of this full scope EPC project is currently undergoing with Greenbuddies teams on site.

The solar plant will produce 250 MWh per year, which is almost a third of the printer’s annual energy consumption. At a price of 416 EUR per MWh, the move represents a saving of 100 000 EUR for Unipress in the first year of operation. The Turnov printing plant thus boasts not only the latest printing technologies, but also an environmentally friendly approach.

Printing equipment in Unipress Turnov

“We are now happy to capitalize on our rich foreign experience from similar projects in the Czech Republic. Places such as rooftops or unused brownfield sites are ideal areas for companies to install a photovoltaic power plant and thus ensure partial energy independence. In the Unipress solar power plant project, we provided a complete turnkey solution so that the client had no worries. The project documentation phase, all permits, and component purchases have been completed, and now the construction begins, followed by the commissioning of the delivered technology,” says Aleš Spáčil, Chief Sales Buddy and co-founder of Greenbuddies, about the project.

David Svoboda, director of Unipress Turnov printers, adds: “We expect the return on the entire investment within a few years, depending on the economic situation. In addition, the energy generated will come purely from renewable sources. With an annual consumption of 818 MWh, the solar panels will save Unipress 30% of its total consumption. We already believe that the project will help us to be more competitive, more efficient and, above all, more environmentally friendly.”

Greenbuddies Tips – January 2023 30.01.2023

2022 is dead, long live 2023!

A non-nostalgic look at the passage of time.

The absence of nostalgia is pragmatic; however, looking back in time, it may reveal facts rather than emotions.

The PV market is back in motion in Europe so let me point out a few interesting facts on the subject:

  • Europe implemented the first major national subsidy initiatives stemming from the so-called Green Deal
  • According to SolarPower Europe, 41.4 GW of solar plants were installed in the EU in 2022, a 47 % increase from the 28.1 GW installed in 2021.
  • The largest European PV plant, the ‘Francisco Pizarro’ project of 590 MW in Extremadura, Spain, has achieved operational status.
  • Greenbuddies had a very strong presence in three of the five biggest European Solar markets in 2022: Germany (7.9 GW), Spain (7.5 GW), Poland (4.9 GW), The Netherlands (4.0 GW), and France (2.7 GW) with 600 MW installed in these markets.
  • The Czech Republic (our domestic market) has emerged from the total limbo it had been in since 2012, with over 250 MW installed and a forecast of 2.5 new GW in the coming year.

By shifting our attention 50:50 to Czech EPC projects and European-wide projects of varied complexity, we are implementing our strategy to assist Key European players in achieving climatic goals in the upcoming year.

We tripled our yearly statistics pretty quickly between 2017 and 2022, but with the state of the current solar market, we are now going vertical!

I hope you enjoy reading our newsletter and our Market Footprint 4Q/2022!

Aleš Spáčil
Chief Sales Buddy

GBCh kick-off meeting in the new year 2023

Our entire team at Greenbuddies Charging had a very busy year in 2022, especially its second half. With both new and old clients, partners, and customers, mostly in Austria and Germany but also in the domestic Czech market, we proceeded to build our commercial ties and carry out orders that had been agreed upon.

In order to consistently provide our clients with the best value for their money in these uncertain times, we have engaged in several talks with suppliers of the technologies we utilise for the installation of our solutions. Along with the more conventional sectors, such as rooftop, ground-mounted photovoltaics, and EV charging stations, interest in solar carports and battery storage has grown. These are all markets where, in collaboration with our technology partners and other partners, we have something to offer.

Greenbuddies Charging workshop in Vienna

Based on an examination of the general state of our business, our projections for 2023 include the assumption that demand growth will continue to be quite robust. As a result of the growing amount of work in all areas, we have decided to hold a workshop for our complete team on the 9th and 10th of January. This is so that we can manage the growing amount of work in all areas. In addition to focusing on important issues, this was a pleasant occasion to finally see our colleagues from Vienna and Amsterdam after the forced absence of face-to-face meetings for the previous two years. Of course, strengthening ties between specific co-workers in sales, sales support, implementation, engineering, and purchasing was one of the key goals.

The fact that our Dutch colleagues accepted our invitation makes me very happy. Together, we will try to concentrate more on the Benelux region this year, which has, in our opinion, great potential for integrated solutions in addition to its photovoltaics, which our business provides as part of the Greenbuddies group.

On Monday afternoon we gathered in the conference room of the Tanzberg Hotel and had a packed agenda. We mostly discussed our projects’ technical and product aspects during this meeting. Naturally, we had to take advantage of the venue’s selection and continue our conversations thereafter the about three-hour session. It should come as no surprise that it was both a delightful and useful evening because we had obtained a sampling of the products of one of the local winemakers’ labour there.

On Tuesday morning, we travelled to the Peak Vienna administrative complex, the headquarters of our Austrian business partner, Business Natives. We then spent the majority of the day in a representative meeting room on the 25th floor with a stunning view of Vienna, thanks to the kindness of our Viennese colleagues. The exchange of knowledge and experience between the various departments was the main highlight. We also talked about ways to enhance collaboration and communication, became familiar with the work schedule for the coming year, and covered a variety of other subjects.

In conclusion, we all felt well-aligned and prepared to continue our work together as a team when we departed Vienna. I do not doubt that this will show in the excellent outputs we strive for and, consequently, evident in the level of client satisfaction with our services. We anticipate working productively with every one of you in the upcoming year!


Aleš Damm
Chief Charging Buddy

Q&A Session with Greenbuddies

As our Greenbuddies team in the planning and building phase is growing each month, we would like to introduce our newest additions with the following questionnaire.

Sales Buddy Jan Textor – young professional with a background in electrical engineering in charge of the Greenbuddies Charging sales team

Development Buddy Michael Červenka – an expert in the area or real estate development, now focused on dvelopment of new PV in the Czech Republic

Sales Buddy David Václavík – the youngest addition to our sales support team, with a backgrounf in economics and environmental studies

From Jan, Micheal, and David’s comments to our Q&A, you may learn more about them below.

Jan Textor 

• What was your first impression of Greenbuddies?

That they were a professional, competent, and, above all, a friendly team of people who enjoy their work and are not afraid of any new challenges.

• What’s your personal philosophy on what should be done about the Renewables/Solar industry?

Simplifying legislation and removing unnecessary bureaucracy would certainly help the solar industry. Fortunately, this is already being done to some extent, but I think it is still not enough. Also, more support from the government for PV installations other than just rooftops/free fields. There is a growing interest in PV carports, and I think it should be supported more.

• What do you do when you aren’t working?

Nothing out of the ordinary, I’d say. I enjoy watching a good movie or a TV show. I also try to be active and play some sports, especially tennis or table tennis and skiing in the winter, if there is time. And naturally, I like to go out for a good meal and drink with my friends or cook something for them at home.

Michael Červenka

• Tell me how you first got involved in with Greenbuddies?

I’m an expert in real estate development. I always chose projects that appealed to me not only for their profitability but also for the quality of their content: ideas, interesting locations, quality architecture, social utility, and environmental sustainability. These are the things that interest me. Greenbuddies appealed to me due to their similar approach, perfect economic foundation, well-set management, and a dynamic, growing industry that sustainably addresses the very pressing needs of all of us.

• What was your first impression of Greenbuddies?

My first impression was that they were The Unstoppables! The Greenbuddies’ motto is fulfilled without fail by a group of determined professionals with a healthy passion and enthusiasm for their work, who even when performing difficult tasks do not lose their optimism and faith in success and the meaning of what they do. These are the people I want to meet and work with.

• If you could change one thing about the Solar Industry, what would it be?

The Building Act and capacity in the electricity system. How? In the case of the Building Act, it is necessary to simplify the permitting procedure as much as possible and shorten the RES permitting deadlines. For the grid, we need transparency and faster capacity additions.

For the rest, we have our own methodology and the sun, which has reliably supplied energy to our planet for more than 4,500,002,023 years!

David Václavík 

• What is your personal philosophy on what should be done about the Renewables/Solar industry?

In the first place, I believe that renewable energy generally should not be associated with politics. According to what I’ve seen, the first thing that comes to people’s minds, at least in the Czech Republic, is the Green Deal or government subsidies, and renewable power plants are frequently viewed as a public enemy, and plant owners are viewed as thieves because they “received” money for it. On the other hand, I believe that renewables and ecology in general are great tools for independence, be it through changes in electricity prices, protection against blackouts in case of a catastrophe, or providing energy in remote areas. Personally, I do not think we should go all green in a snap of a finger, but different kinds of renewables should be smartly incorporated into all new building projects and developments, even in the commercial sphere.

• Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with Greenbuddies.

That someone is actually me:) I graduated from economics, environmental science, human geography, and computer science; and being in the sales department of a company that builds solar power plants, It’s a dream job where I can, on a daily basis, apply all the areas that interest me and that I have learned about in the past!

• What do you think will change about the PV sector over the next five years?

I believe that over the next five years, we will see huge advances both in PV technology as well as its usage. Be it Perovskite crystals, which promise significantly higher PV module efficiency, see-through panels, or even more. Recently, there has been news about creating PV cloth. This would allow for much wider possible applications, from electricity-generating windows to even wearable power generators.

Greenbuddies Tips – December 2022 28.12.2022

Greenbuddies install solar panels on the roofs of Budapest shopping centres

A total capacity of 7MWp is now being installed in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Five locations of shopping centres are being covered with east-west roofing systems. Construction has already begun on three roofs and the work on the other two will begin in the new year.

The Greenbuddies team is delivering this project as a complete EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) for our client. The project includes members from Greenbuddies’ team of professionals in engineering, procurement specialists, and the project management team. Our experienced site manager Gyorgyi Molnarová oversees the project team on-site.

Work in progress on the roof of a shopping centre in Hungary

With these projects, we had to solve a significant issue concerning the roofs’ low load limits, but we were able to overcome them by working with a supplier of lightweight, stable structures that didn’t require a lot of ballast. The most recent wind models guarantee this. In a wind tunnel, the structure is tested to confirm the calculations.

Even during the winter, the actualisation of the project continues, as the weather has been mild so far. The installed PV plants will be utilised to offset the shopping centres’ regular daily electricity usage and lower electricity expenses. Therefore, we are glad to be a part of this transition.

Solar carports in practice

We are seeing a steadily growing interest in solar carports from customers in a wide range of sectors. The most frequent customers are those with parking areas where, for technical or economic reasons, it is not possible to simply offer a rooftop installation of solar panels. At one end of the spectrum, for example, there may be a private bakery or hotel looking for a solution for 30 parking spaces, while at the other end there may be a global supplier of components to the automotive industry.

Carports are typically made of steel, aluminium, wood, or a combination of these materials and are built on outdoor areas. For domestic use, this can be the yard or garden of a family home; for professional use, it is most often the car park of hotels, production or logistics halls, shopping centres, or large car parks at highways, airports, sports stadiums, and so on. Carports have recently been built mainly as so-called solar carports. This means that photovoltaic panels are laid on the roof of the carport, and the whole system hides the additional infrastructure needed to generate green electricity from solar energy.

Greenbuddies carport project in Austria

This gives a whole new dimension to the use of these open spaces, which have previously only been used for parking. In addition to generating the necessary renewable energy, the carport also provides parked vehicles and their occupants with protection from the elements, be it rain, hail, or the sun’s rays, which can make the interior of a car very hot. In the winter, every driver will appreciate not having to laboriously scrape frozen windows under the shelter.

Our installation teams have quite extensive experience in installing carports or similar structures from several European countries. To name just two examples, we have carried out a very interesting installation for our French customer on a high-rise building in Brussels, and another installation of which we at GreenBuddies are suitably proud is the largest project of its kind in Austria, in the state of Burgenland.

When we talk about carports, it is important to remember that this is a building in the true sense of the word, which naturally also places high demands on the safety and stability of the structures. The actual implementation is therefore preceded by a series of preparatory technical tasks, which our company provides: from the basic design of the carport through calculations to the preparation of a structural study based on the geographical location of the site and the associated amount of rain and snowfall, the size of the structure, the roof pitch, etc.

Carport construction and anchoring process

A separate chapter describes the technological solution for anchoring the above-ground structure to the ground. The starting point is to carry out a geological study of the subsoil, including pull-out tests on site. According to the results of this study, the designers will determine the optimum method for the foundations of the structures and their anchorage. That these are not trivial issues is demonstrated by another example from our implementation in Lutzmannsburg, where the above-ground structure sits on massive concrete blocks that we set on steel pylons extending 6 meters below ground. Of course, the technical solution is not always this demanding; in many cases, the structure is attached with bolts or rests on footings with smaller concrete foundations.

Although the use of shelters is primarily aimed at generating electricity from photovoltaic panels, with the development of electromobility, more and more investors are interested in the possibility of installing charging stations. This, of course, makes sense wherever an EV driver intends to park his or her car for at least an hour or more. In public spaces, there are often multiple chargers, which often optimise the system of drawing electricity from photovoltaics or the public grid using a so-called “dynamic power management system.” This system allocates the appropriate charging power according to the technical condition or degree of charge of the individual clients’ batteries or according to other parameters programmed at the operator’s request. Carport manufacturers are also responding to this trend by coming up with elegant solutions for integrating chargers into the columns of overhead structures, etc.

In the last year, we have seen a noticeable increase in interest in carports among both investors and providers of complete solutions for photovoltaics and electromobility. In addition to the above-mentioned logic of multiple uses of available space, legislation aimed at promoting the construction of photovoltaic installations and the development of electromobility is also newly applied. For example, in selected German federal states, standards are being drafted (or are already in the final stages of the legislative process) requiring shopping center parking areas above a certain size to be equipped with solar carports. The German example will surely soon be followed by other EU member states.

Meet our development team in the Netherlands

Greenbuddies Energy B.V. is our Dutch entity. The team of project developers are based in Eindhoven and led by Jos Schlangen. They keep themselves busy with greenfield developments across the Benelux. Launched in 2020, the entity has a broad pipeline of large (10MW+) solar projects under development. These projects are being developed alongside STEAG Solar Energy Solutions, our investor for the Benelux.  

A large part of the team in Eindhoven comes from Limburg, situated inthe south of the Netherlands. This is also a region that has yet to have seen a boost in the construction of solar energy, as the hilly landscape often makes permitting procedures more complex. Greenbuddies Energy has taken this on as an ideal opportunity since municipalities, even in the south, are bound by sustainability targets (i.e., a certain % of green energy consumption). With several team members conversing in the local dialects with landowners, we find that we are often given the nod over our ‘northerly’ competitors. This is one of the main reasons as to why a growing portion of our projects under development are located in Limburg. Additional advantages here include that the grid is not as congested as it is elsewhere in the Netherlands.  

However, the south also brings challenges. The main issue faced today is that municipalities are yet to formulate concise legislation allowing the permitting of large solar installations. This results in the fact that a lot of work goes into lobbying municipal councils to pass bills in favour of particular projects. Of course, this can only be done with projects that have been integrated to fit ideally in the landscape, as well as bring particular social advantages to inhabitants of surrounding areas. All this means that plenty of effort is being put into creating local connections and spending time getting to know the area surrounding a particular project. Only then can one develop with a keen eye on the ecology of the surroundings, as well as an open mind to suggestions being given by locals.  

As the images indicate, our team enjoys the challenge of finding new prospects and developing these into fully-fledged projects supplying green electricity to the national grid. Keep an eye out on the south of the Netherlands for a range of interesting solar developments in the coming years, in no small part due to the efforts being brought to the table by our dedicated Dutch development team. 

Greenbuddies Tips – November 2022 30.11.2022

Prague Congress Centre goes green with 1 MW rooftop PV installed by Greenbuddies

The roof of the Prague Congress Centre is currently being filled with solar panels which are installed by Greenbuddies. This is one of the largest rooftop solar power installations in the Czech Republic.  With this project, Greenbuddies start the construction phase of projects in the Czech market

The site of the Congress Centre will accommodate over two thousand solar panels, which will have a capacity of almost 1 MW. The installation technicians are working at a height of 40 m and laying almost 20,000 metres of cables. SolarEdge inverters are used, which minimise the voltage during a fault and are thus suitable for reducing the risk of fires. Additionally, modern roof construction technology allows for fixation by simply loading, without the need to drill into the roof. Concrete tiles weighing more than 62 tonnes are used for this purpose.

Chief Technical Buddy Marcel Hrubý at work on site

“We have covered all stages of the project, from preparing the project documentation to securing all permits and purchasing components for the construction and commissioning of the supplied technology,” says Aleš Spáčil, Chief Sales Buddy.

During the permitting process, the investor and the contractor consulted with the conservation authorities and the metro administration. Issues related to the appearance and visibility of the solar installation on the roof had to be addressed through visualisations and video simulations, and a small sample of the plant had to be built directly on the roof as part of the approval process. Thanks to the constructive and practical approach of the conservationists, the permitting process was successfully completed. As the Congress Centre is partly located in the metro protection zone, the entire project was also approved by the Prague City Transport Company.

The project was commissioned by ČEZ ESCO, with whom Greenbuddies has established a cooperation in the Czech Republic. In addition to the Congress Centre, several projects are already under construction. Among other projects being built at the moment is a rooftop power plant of the Unipress printing press in Turnov. Other projects in the pre-project phase include the rooftops of the discount chain PENNY, Ravak and the redevelopment of an unutilized plot of land in the industrial zone of the Kolín car factory in Ovčáry.

Greenbuddies cooperation with discount chain PENNY

The use of photovoltaics is not only a profitable solution for households but also an important source of financial optimization for companies. More and more companies are choosing to reduce their electricity costs by installing a photovoltaic system. Gaining energy independence in the reality of unpredictable and rising energy prices is an important way to reduce a company’s costs.

It is therefore not surprising that the largest discount chain in the country, PENNY, has chosen to install PV on the roofs of its stores across the country. PENNY has already installed solar technology on several of its stores and plans on installing dozens more, including one in Prague’s Ládví district. The average output of these rooftop installations is around 70 kWp.

Penny Market Ládví, Prague, Source:

PENNY decided to handle the Ládví project with Greenbuddies in Prague in the form of EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction), which means in the form of a complete solution, where GreenBuddies handle everything from initial administrative services to planning, ordering of materials, and the actual installation of photovoltaic panels and other accessories. The pre-implementation phase in these cases involves the planning, of both the power plant itself and the electrical installation. It also includes the process leading to obtaining a building permit and approval from the electricity distributor to connect the PV installation to the grid.

For the two projects that are now in the pre-implementation phase, the plan is also to install battery systems that will allow more efficient use of solar energy. The batteries store the excess electricity generated by the panels, increasing the energy capacity and allowing the energy to be used at night or on cloudy days. They are therefore ideal for shops that, for example, have to keep their freezers on overnight.

Together with our colleagues at PENNY, we expect the first site to be ready for implementation during the first quarter of next year. Delivery and installation of the individual projects will then get fully underway with the selected contractors over the coming months.

Moreover, carbon footprint tracking as part of non-financial reporting next to the broader concept of corporate social responsibility in Czech companies is still far from being the norm. PENNY has decided to contribute to reducing this and has therefore invested significantly in resources in this area. We at Greenbuddies are proud that our colleagues at PENNY have chosen our company for the preparatory phase of their project, and we firmly believe that we will be able to offer them effective support during the implementation phase.

Q&A Session with Greenbuddies

As our Greenbuddies team in the planning and building phase is growing each month, we would like to introduce our newest additions with the following questionnaire.

Development Buddy Jan Pavlík – an expert property hunter with experience working with large corporations

HR Buddy  Helena Ciglanská – an accomplished HR manager, focused on hiring new “Buddies” and taking care of our growing team

Sales Buddy Ondřej Větrovský – a multifaceted salesman with media industry expertise

From Jan, Helena, and Ondřej’s comments to our Q&A, you may learn more about them below.

Jan Pavlík

• What surprised you the most about working with Greenbuddies?

For over 20 years I worked for multinational corporate companies where you spend most of your working time fighting for your position. There are processes, guidelines, and spreadsheets for everything. Getting any idea through is a long haul. At Greenbuddies, they listen to what you have to say and without delay, someone responds and addresses it with you.

• If you could change one thing about the solar industry, what would it be?

Definitely the legislation in CR. Everything else is already figured out. Building the plant is basically the shortest part of the whole process. And at a time when the pressure for cheaper energy is increasing enormously, unfortunately, the state administration is not reacting to current developments and therefore delaying implementation.

• What do you do when you’re not working?

I try to spend time with my family. When I have time, I watch a good movie or a TV show. I like to cook and travel.

Helena Ciglanská

• What was your first impression of Greenbuddies?

Friendliness, cohesiveness, openness, professionalism.

• Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with Greenbuddies.

The words of co-owner and CFO Ondrej Vodslon are that the core product of Greenbuddies is its people, so we have to take good care of them. This HR “policy” works well for me, as HR.

• How would (someone) describe you?

I have heard various things already, but the last time someone called me a tsunami 😊

Ondřej Větrovský

• What was your first impression of Greenbuddies?

They are professional, friendly, and open-minded people enjoying what they do.

• What’s your personal philosophy on what should be done about the Renewables/Solar industry?

Speeding up legislation for communities, creating an environment for independent and self-sufficient households and communities.

• What would you tell someone who is thinking about building a PV plant?

Don’t hesitate and go for it!

Greenbuddies Tips – October 2022 31.10.2022

16 MWp PV project in Italy completed

In recent weeks, a project with a total installed capacity of 16 MWp has been completed near the ancient Italian town of Ferrara, located between Venice and Bologna.

This project entailed a highly complex Axone Duo tracker design from PVH, which rotates during the day to follow the sun, maximising both energy and monetary gain for the customer. Our team took care of the mechanical and electrical installation, including ramming and assembling the structure with PV modules, cabling, and grounding.

Newly finished freefield project in Italy

One of the difficult tasks was measuring the structure’s minimum deflection, which had to be measured with a laser. To give you an indication of the operation, on a 56-meter tracker, the tolerance was 1 cm, which is also the measurable limit by laser. More than a hundred workers rotated with the work during the project, depending on the current activity and specialisation. All this while often having to deal with high temperatures of around 40°C in the shade for the 3 months of installation.

As this was a pilot Greenbuddies project, in the beginning, we faced many administrative hurdles. However, in dealing with them we gained experience that will be very useful to us in the future. We believe that this collaboration with a challenging client has prepared us perfectly for working on the next seven projects starting in Italy, and we hope to increase this number in the future!

Possibilities of use of hydrogen in the automotive industry

In this edition of our Greenbuddies Tips, we would like to follow up on the topic of using hydrogen as an alternative energy source with the potential use of hydrogen in the automotive industry. Although it is technologically possible for a car to burn hydrogen in the same way that models run on liquefied propane-butane (LPG) or liquefied or compressed natural gas (LNG, CNG) do, none of the mass-produced prototypes has achieved this.

There is no pure hydrogen car on the market today as today’s hydrogen cars are hybrids. They have fuel cells which, by combining hydrogen from a tank with oxygen in the air, produce electricity (the waste product is only water vapour). This is partly used to power the vehicle at times of light load and the rest is stored in a built-in battery; when more power is required (starting, overtaking), the missing energy is supplied by the battery. It is not worth installing more powerful fuel cells to cover peak consumption due to their size and weight.

Hydrogen propulsion has yet to make significant inroads into passenger transportation, with German physicist Patrick Plötz of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems Research and Innovation telling Nature Electronics magazine that hydrogen is too late for any road transport. The West’s drive to rapidly achieve climate-neutral transport is leading to a preference for existing technologies that promise to achieve this goal within a few decades. In passenger transport, it is no longer expected that hydrogen technology can catch up with electric cars if the Paris Agreement commitments are to be met. If hydrogen trucks are not in series production within a few years, he is also sceptical about freight transport. 

Illustrative photo, Source:

However, the situation is different in other sectors such as aviation, industry, or shipping. Japan’s largest railway company, East Japan Railway, is testing its first hydrogen train, which is expected to go into commercial service in 2030. Development is being carried out in collaboration with Toyota, whose task it will be to supply the fuel cells, and Hitachi, which will supply the propulsion system. Hydrogen trains are already running in Germany. In Lower Saxony, they have replaced fifteen diesel trains. Alstrom’s Coradia iLint hydrogen trains have a range of 1,000 km and are capable of a top speed of 140 km/h.

At September’s UK DroneX trade fair, he outlined further possibilities. The Israeli firm Gadfin unveiled a delivery drone using hydrogen fuel cells. With the higher energy density of hydrogen versus lithium-based batteries, it allows for a range of up to 250 kilometres and is expected to find use in linking hospitals in the Cambridge area as well as transporting vital medical supplies faster than cars, especially at peak times.

A kilogram of hydrogen contains approximately 66 kWh of energy, while lithium polymer batteries have a maximum energy density of 0.14 kWh/kg. ISS Aerospace, an English company that uses drones loaded with various sensors to collect cartographic and other data, reports that when using hydrogen cells, the drone can stay in the air two to three times longer and thus cover a larger area.

Source: Video: Drony na vodík z výstavy novinek jsou lehčí, obratnější a doletí dále – Seznam Zprávy (
Dává vodíkový pohon smysl? Nebo je budoucností elektromobilita? |
Vodíkový pohon prohrál. Do aut ani náklaďáků se už neprosadí, tvrdí expert – Seznam Zprávy (
V Japonsku chtějí vyrábět vodík z použitého plastu (

Greenbuddies became ISO 14001 certified 

In the January issue of our newsletter, we told you about our plans to obtain the ISO 14001 certification, which is an important tool for managing the environmental impact of a company’s activities. We are very pleased to tell you that this month we have met all the requirements for this certification and have become a legal holder of ISO 14001:2016. 

The development of Greenbuddies is based on the harmonious alignment of economic growth, social justice, and environmental protection, i.e., on the principles of sustainable development. All our employees are aware of their responsibility towards future generations. 

Greenbuddies project in Netherlands

Our goal is to minimise the consumption of materials and raw materials to the level set by technical standards and regulations so that unnecessary waste, including energy and fuel, is avoided. We strive to make the activities we carry out as environmentally friendly as possible. Contractors are familiar with the principles of process optimisation and the requirements for machinery (e.g. electrically powered) and waste management. In order to further reduce environmental burdens, vehicles are serviced at set intervals and times to minimise harmful emissions into the air, Noise is limited to an acceptable level and leakages of operating fluids are prevented – especially oil. All our employees are involved in the process of reducing the production of pollutants (emissions and waste). 

The environmental register is one of the sources for determining our company’s environmental profile and is continuously updated and evaluated. At the same time, we have introduced an Environmental Management Directive, the purpose of which is to also bring all the company’s activities into line with the requirements of applicable laws and related regulations in the field of environmental protection. Specifically, in the areas of air protection, water management, waste management, etc.

Internal audits are carried out to check compliance with the defined principles in all organisational units of the company that are included in the integrated management system. 
It is well known that Greenbuddies has already obtained several ISO certifications in previous years. In 2018, we focused on our quality management system and met the requirements for the ISO 9001:2015 standard. In January 2021, we, as a company, focused on occupational health and safety and became ISO 45001:2018 certified, replacing the original OHSAS 18001 standard. 

We believe that by continuously improving our internal processes, we will become a stronger player with a favourable market position.

Market Footprint 3Q 2022 18.10.2022


We hope everything is going well with you and your company!

We have some exciting news to share with you.

This quarter has been very busy for us, and we are proud to say that we have completed over 700 MWp in the last 5 years, and we are still growing day by day, with our teams currently working on projects totaling more than 100 MWp at once.

For more information on our most recent completed projects, please see our quarterly Market Footprint.

If you have any projects where we can assist you, please do not hesitate to send us an RFQ. We would be delighted to prepare an offer for you and look forward to continuing our collaboration!

Best Regards,

Greenbuddies Tips – September 2022 27.09.2022

Maximising the performance of rooftop PV

The quickest solution to reducing electricity costs is to cover your own consumption with a rooftop PV plant. It is apparent that commercial real estate investors are becoming increasingly aware of this fact. To maximise electricity production, it is advisable to incorporate the requirements of a future rooftop PV system into the detailed design of a production or storage hall. 

An example model project is the Dagab food logistics centre in Balsta, near the Swedish capital. The 65,000 m2 flat roof is designed entirely according to the “PV rooftop ready” rules. The main area is free of any obstructions, i.e., the technologies are placed island-style to avoid shading of the PV panels (ideally placing the panels towards the northern edge of the buildings). Other important elements that contribute to maximising the output per m2 are appropriately placed drainage channels and the direction of the roof pitch due to the use of an east-west system.

Newly finished rooftop project in Sweden

Three years ago, standard practice was to build 1 MW on a roof with 10 people per month. Currently, thanks to an ideally designed roof and choice of components, we built almost 9 MW in a record of 3 months. The main reasons for the fast construction and subsequently early commissioning are that the materials on the roof were manoeuvred with a helicopter, there is an even distribution on the roof which is as close to the installation site as possible, and we use JA Solar 535 Wp Jumbo panels of 2285×1135 mm which are placed on the Esdec mounting system.

Having installed over 25 different roof mounting systems, we can virtually confirm that Esdec FlatFixWave Plus is the fastest substructure on the market. The biggest advantage is that the substructure is pre-assembled and only needs to be unfolded and set in place. FlatFixWave is the only structure that assembles without the use of power hand tools, screws, or panel clips. There is no need to check the tightening torques of panel attachment screws or other bolted connections. Using FlatFixWave ensures a quick and flawless installation without the need for lengthy torque wrench checks. 

Dagab food logistics center in Balsta

Our Swedish customers have entrusted us to build 30 MW on five rooftops this year, where we installed 16,554 panels on the largest of them. In a series of mega rooftop PV projects that we will be building, the upcoming one is a 9.5 MW project in Germany, which will start in October.

Together, let’s break the 10 MW mark on one roof. Our teams, led by experienced construction managers, are waiting for your next mega project.

Hydrogen as an alternative energy source

Hydrogen is the most abundant gas in the universe, accounting for 80% of the atoms of the elements found here. Although the Earth contains much less of it, it is the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon (15.4% of atoms), so there is certainly no shortage. However, its functionality is reduced since elemental hydrogen is rarely found on Earth and must be extracted from natural gas, oil, coal, or electrolysis from water for industrial use.

Hydrogen is the new “holy grail” of energy. Hydrogen, also claimed to be the fuel of the future, is an efficient fuel that has the highest combustion energy per pound compared to other fuels in use. It offers up to three times more energy for the same volume of fuel. It is also a clean-burning fuel that produces no harmful by-products. Currently, most hydrogen is produced by a chemical process from fossil fuels. Although this is the most efficient method of production, with an efficiency of around 80%, the downside is that for every kilogram of hydrogen, 5.5 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide are also produced. If this waste carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, the resulting hydrogen is called “grey”; if it is captured and stored, it is called “blue”.

Illustrative photo, Source:

This offers production by electrolysis of water. However, the efficiency of production is significantly lower, at just 60 % and 9 litres of water are used per kilogramme of ‘green’ hydrogen. However, the efficiency can be increased when there is a surplus of production and energy that has no use at the time, which is used to produce “green” hydrogen.

Thus, hydrogen production from solar energy is proposed in a system that includes a conventional photovoltaic power plant, either on the roof or on the ground, to which a storage system is connected combining battery storage and a hydrogen tank. The left-over energy produced by the sun is stored partly in the battery and partly in the form of hydrogen. The hydrogen that is produced is not only useful for powering vehicles or for heating but can also be reused to generate electricity when it is scarce or in an island system that is not connected to the grid.

Schematic of the interconnection of photovoltaic panels and a hydrogen storage system,


In addition to electrolysis from water using electricity from nuclear power plants, hydrogen is also available as a by-product of waste treatment. Toyota, the Japanese automaker, plans to produce hydrogen from household plastic waste. In Japan, this is currently not recycled as 8% ends up in landfills, 12% is exported, and two thirds end up in incinerators. Although production in this way does not produce carbon waste, it is still significantly more profitable than incineration.

In the current energy crisis, hydrogen is also helping to counter regional differences in the availability of raw materials. For example, hydrogen can be obtained through electrolysis from water in any country, even if it is otherwise mineral poor. Hydrogen as a chemical is always the same. Moreover, it can be added to natural gas and heated without any infrastructure modification, as current gas boilers are tested to run on natural gas enriched with up to 20% hydrogen.

Q&A Session with Greenbuddies

As our Greenbuddies team in the planning and building phase is growing each month, we would like to introduce our newest additions with the following questionnaire.

Consulting Buddy Nella Maslák – a young professional with a background from electrical engineering and civil engineering

Project & Delivery Buddy Jan Noga – a skilled professional with work experience in Spanish-speaking countries and in logistics and machinery

Site Buddy Lukáš Bílek – multilingual professional with work experience from all over the world


You can meet Nella, Jan, and Lukáš on the sites of your projects. Learn something about them from their responses to our Q&A.

Nella Maslák

• What was your first impression of Greenbuddies?

When I joined the company, I was pleasantly surprised at how kind and supportive the GB people were and what a great team worked here.

• If you could change one thing about the solar industry, what would it be?

Considering that I work at Greenbuddies Consulting, I would simplify the permitting process for the construction of photovoltaic power plants.

What do you do when you aren’t working?

When I’m not working, I try to divide my free time into two parts: the part I dedicate to my children and the time I spend with friends. I like to travel and do sports, especially skiing.

Jan Noga

• What was your first impression of Greenbuddies?

It was a pleasant surprise to see that everyone at Greenbuddies enjoys their jobs and cares about the company. I worked in a big industrial concern before and I did not feel this there.

• What do you find most challenging about your job?

Sometimes it’s the language barrier that makes my work difficult.

• What do you do when you aren’t working?

Mountain biking is my form of relaxation. So whenever I have some free time, I try to find the perfect trail.

Lukáš Bílek

• What do you find most challenging about your job?

Project management as a complex business matter: give people a sense of what is really going on; achieve a few things each day; get results so we can move on and have a better day than the day before.

• What do you think will change in the PV world over the next five years?

 I believe that the world is now going through many principal changes and the question of using renewable resources is becoming more and more important than ever. So PV, new technologies, engineering, new business ideas and solutions will be more in demand than ever before.

• If you weren’t in Greenbuddies, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?

You can describe me in a few words, which are: foreign relations and languages; travelling and integration abroad; Sport and creative mind, always on the lookout for new opportunities and involvements in study, project management, and start-up environment. So if I was not involved with Greenbuddies, I would be looking for this scope of work.

Greenbuddies Tips – August 2022 24.08.2022

4.4 MWp project in Wijchen, NL – The largest Greenbuddies rooftop PV of 2021

This section will discuss the project on the roof of a DHL building in Wijchen, in the east of the Netherlands. It is one of thirteen projects that Greenbuddies have worked on in 2021 in The Netherlands.

Situated on a flat roof, which this time was not challenging in terms of the specifics of the construction or the shape of the roof but was both interesting and challenging in its dimensions. The scale of the project is not so different from the other roof installations that our company has already realized however, the other installations were spread over several roofs belonging to the same owner. However, this installation is exposed on the roof of a single building (one roof unit). 

Rooftop project in Wijchen, Netherlands

The solar plant‘s installed capacity is 4.4 MWp. The DC installation of the project, which was handled by Greenbuddies, included the installation of 10,632 panels, 25 combiner boxes and 25 inverters. Moreover, the SADEF East-West Landscape construction was used. We were able to realize the DC installation of this project of an unusually large size for it being a roof structure in only 3.5 months.

If we compare the number of panels on this building with the publicly known statistics that relate to solar energy, we get a better idea of the size of this project. For example, in 2021, Greenbuddies worked on more than 40 PV projects across the European Union, and the average size of the power plants built that year was 2,8 MWp. In total, Greenbuddies built over 100 MWp of solar power plants that year. By comparison, in the Czech Republic, a total of 62 MW of PV plants were installed in 2021 country-wide [1], which is about 14 plants of the same size as the Wijchen project.

To give you a visual aid of the installation, have a look at the birds-eye view of this rooftop installation.

Bike Ports – solar powered shelters for cyclists with ebike charging

The popularity of electric bikes is growing worldwide, and with that, comes the need to charge them. Often, batteries run out during a cycling trip, whereby the journey must be continued by only using human power. Therefore, it is useful to have another solution such as solar-powered shelters.

Even if there is an electrical outlet available (e.g. at a restaurant during lunch), the cyclist can often be out of luck when they do not have the right charging adapter with them. Another issue is that there are often no electrical outlets in the middle of nature areas.

Illustrative picture, Source: David Marcu,

In the middle of nature, a solar bike shelter, which has integrated solar modules including battery storage, will do a great job of keeping your bike charged despite the absence of mains electricity. In addition, this shelter protects against harsh weather conditions. Moreover, not only cyclists will benefit from this, but anyone can make use of the shelters, such as hikers. and not only the cyclist does not have to sit in the rain while charging, but it can also be used by passing hikers. The battery can also be used to power anti-vandal surveillance cameras and vending machines, or the operator can allow mobile phones to be recharged. It is then up to the operator to choose a suitable form of monetization for the whole device.

The bike port can be made of different materials to best suit natural conditions. The individual components related to the power plant are ingeniously integrated into the design of the entire shelter so that, for example, the roof is made up of only photovoltaic modules. Therefore, no additional materials are required for roof insulation. This shelter can be built in a so-called island operation where the PV modules only supply electricity to the battery storage and where the shelter is not connected to the distribution system. Naturally, it is also possible to connect this bike port to the grid and send any surplus to the grid, thus guaranteeing a faster economic return on the project. The shelter can be optionally complemented with covered tables, chairs and other things to best serve the desired purpose. The bike port itself can be installed virtually anywhere with frequent cyclists and is an ideal resting place for those who need it.

Bike ports can also be supplemented with bicycle parking stations with the option of locking them. This will offer secure bicycle storage while charging. After a tour of a castle, chateau or a visit to a leisure centre, the tired cyclist can pick up their bicycle at full strength and reach their destination with minimal effort.

Photo of bikeport in the Czech republic, Source:                                                                                                                                                                     Photo of bikeport in nature, Source:             

Meet our site managers from all over the world

Greenbuddies was founded in Prague and this beautiful city is still where we have our base. However, Greenbuddies is now a pan-European company which, to be able to take care of customers in all 14 markets of the European Union, needs to have enough skilled workers in both construction and construction management.

During the first few years, we had been able to reliably bring several qualified workers from the Czech Republic to the photovoltaic markets. As time went on, we began to collaborate more and more with teams and individuals from other countries, as the Czech PV market itself began to have high demands for skilled labour.

Illustrative picture, Source: Los Muertos Crew,

Therefore, on our construction sites today you will find colleagues from Hungary, Poland, Bosnia and Hercegovina and even Senegal. It is truly an international team working together like the famous “Swiss watch”.

We would like to introduce you to some people in this team and the background of their home countries:

El Hadji Amadou Bamba Diarra

Bamba has literally become our universal soldier. He was starting his first project for a Belgian mounting system manufacturer near Avignon in southern France. The project is interesting because the mounting system is based on earth screws, which are more suitable for hard and rocky terrain. His second task is to provide and supervise the DC wiring on single-axle rotating structures near Bologna, Italy.

Bamba was born in Dakar, Senegal, where he finished his high school education with honours and received a scholarship to the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. Since completing his studies, he has worked in Italy and Kuwait before joining Greenbuddies. He says that working in the solar energy sector is his true passion. Bamba is a family man with three daughters and a love of jazz and Cuban music.

Languages: native French and Wolof, English, Italian and Slovak

Education: Master’s degree in Power Electrical Engineering at Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology in Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Emin Džomba

As our business activities have expanded to Sweden and Croatia, we will be hiring a young and talented professional who speaks Croatian and knows the cultural habits and business approach in this region. The first project where Emin will be involved in as a Junior Site Manager is a 10 MW free-field PV for an important Croatian grid operator. There are several other upcoming projects close to Zagreb and Split which will start in the fall and Emin will be taking part in these projects as well.

Emin grew up in a small town named Kakanj in the middle of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he finished his high school education. Then he moved to Sarajevo to attend university and get his degree. After finishing his studies, he came back to his hometown, which has a lot of industry in it, including a thermal powerplant that has been working for more than six decades. It was easy to see how devastating this can be for the environment, so he chose to work in the field of green energy. Emin has experience with the design of different types of power plants from his previous work as a Mechanical Engineer.

Languages: Croatian, Serbian, English

Education: Master’s degree in Process Engineering and Environmental Engineering at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sarajevo

Greenbuddies Tips – July 2022 28.07.2022

Greenbuddies complete 2.1 MWp rooftop project in Belgium ahead of schedule

Our Greenbuddies team has finished work on a 2.1 MWp rooftop project in the Wallonia Region in Belgium. Situated on top of the headquarters of a logistics company, a total of 4684 PV modules were installed, along with 13 inverters and app. 50 km of DC cables.

We have again proven to be the “Unstoppables” as our team was able to work around encountered problems, as the crane could be moved only from a certain date. Rather than waiting for this day to come, we mobilized a higher quantity of workers to distribute the lifted material around the roof. This way, the project was able to be finished and handed over 20 days before the planned deadline, thus adding another green energy source to the Belgian market.

Newly finished rooftop project in Wallonia, Belgium

Photovoltaic façade systems – a means of integrating green energy into the building’s structure

The demand for photovoltaic installations is growing, a well known fact we keep repeating each month. This is mainly due to rising energy prices, which are forcing consumers to look for alternatives in order to save money. The interest in rooftop and ground-mounted solar power installations is huge and growing. It is not surprising that the search for various uses of photovoltaics is growing as well. One of these solutions is a façade or wall-mounted photovoltaic power plant, a type of installation which has been used increasingly in recent years. It is an ideal solution for buildings that do not have a suitable roof or as an addition to an existing roof installation.

Façade systems are usually installed on south-facing walls. They can be mounted parallel to the wall or with a slight tilt. Façade systems generally produce less energy than rooftop and ground-mounted installations. Due to this, it usually does not make sense to mount the modules on a walls other than the south-facing ones. In general, wall-mounted solar panels produce more electricity in the winter months than in the summer. This is because the sun is lower in the sky during this time, so more direct sunlight hits the wall-mounted panels.

Illustrative picture, Source:

The naturally steep slope of wall-mounted solar panels requires special hardware to install and secure. They are more difficult to fix than ground-mounted or roof-mounted solar panels. The mounting system can be attached directly with anchors drilled into the wall, or the installation can use support columns that are erected against the wall and to which the panels are then attached. As façade systems fight gravity to remain upright, strong securing is essential to prevent displacement, damage and life-threatening accidents.

In terms of cleaning and maintenance, this system is easier to maintain than conventional ground and rooftop power plants. The accumulation of dirt, snow and other items is almost never a problem because rain washes away any debris and gravity prevents the accumulation of leaves and other debris, which contributes to easier cleaning. Wall-mounted modules are also more visible and do not require climbing on high roofs to assess their condition. Climbing onto the roof is a burdensome and often a risky task for many power plant owners. Wall-mounted panels provide the advantage of easier visual access to keep track of any cleaning or maintenance needed.

Illustrative pictures, Source:

Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is another and more challenging and expensive option in terms of installation. This is a solar energy system that is seamlessly integrated into the building’s outer shell and is usually part of construction elements such as façades, roofs or windows. The BIPV system serves a dual purpose, being an integral part of the building that not only converts solar energy into electricity, but also provides other necessary functions such as thermal insulation or noise protection. These systems can be installed during the construction of a new building or installed as part of the refurbishment of an existing building when the usual components need to be replaced.

Greenbuddies Consulting team of experts provides complete support for PV projects

In the context of the dynamic development of solar projects in the Czech Republic, it has been proven crucial to be able to work on customer projects not only during the actual implementation but ideally already in the so-called pre-construction phase.

At Greenbuddies Consulting, we offer a complete solution – from the initial study or processing of an application for connection to the distribution network to the preparation of project documentation, applications for subsidies or negotiations with the relevant authorities. We also help customers better understand the time, financial, technical and organisational parameters of their project.

A preliminary administrative and technical site assessment enables customers to verify whether a solar project is feasible at a given location in terms of obtaining the relevant permits, connecting to the grid and whether the project makes technical sense. The PV framework design is a way to determine the expected performance and architecture of a future PV project without having to commission an extensive design for planning permission at this stage. The subsidy opportunity analysis will answer customers’ questions about currently announced subsidy programs and their suitability for the customer’s project and outline an approximate timeline for the necessary steps.

A frequently used service is the calculation of investment and operating costs related to the implementation of the PV project.

Then, in the project gets a green light, Greenbuddies can prepare complete project documentation for the construction permit or, if necessary, the implementing documentation. We also provide customers with the necessary applications for grid connection, building permits or subsidies.

We offer these consulting services for the entire Czech Republic, both for ground-mounted PV installations and for rooftop projects on large commercial and industrial buildings.

Market Footprint 2Q 2022 22.07.2022


We hope all is well with you and your business!

We would like to share some news with you. 

Today, we are happy to say we have already completed over 600 MWp in the past 5 years and are still growing day by day, as our teams are working all over the European Union. You can check out the details in our quarterly Greenbuddies Market Footprint 2Q 2022.

If you have any projects where we can be of any help, don’t hesitate to send us an RFQ of your projects. We would be pleased to prepare an offer for you and we are looking forward to continuing our cooperation!

Best Regards,